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Tio Pepe launches latest en rama

Tio Pepe has released its fourth “En Rama” style, with a more overt “flor” character than usual due to a particularly wet and mild winter in Jerez.

Tio Pepe En Rama 2013Like previous en rama releases, the limited edition fino sherry is bottled without normal wine clarification and stabilisation processes such as fining or filtration.

“I describe it as untamed Tio Pepe,” said head winemaker Antonio Flores, speaking at a Sherry masterclass during the Big Fortified Tasting in London.

Flores, who had flown in specially to present this year’s en rama, said the 2013 bottling had a stronger “flor” character than previous releases due to the unusually mild and wet winter and early spring in Jerez.

“We’ve had lots of rain, as much as 800mm compared to an average of 600mm, and the weather has been mild, which is the best atmosphere for the development of flor,” he said.

The flor – a white film of yeast which forms on the surface of the fino as it ages in barrel – consumes ethanol, acid and glycerol in the wine, while producing acetaldehyde, the source of fino’s characteristic nutty character.

Flores also explained that the extremely dry and salty sensation in Tio Pepe en rama stems from the very low levels of glycerol in the fino, which is as low as 0.5 grams per litre, compared to around 10g/l in an average wine.

As with previous releases, the 2013 edition was bottled unfiltered and unclarified, and consequently it has a recommended drinking window of three months from the bottling date – 8 April.

10,752 bottles have been released of the 2013 en rama, made up of 75cl bottles (with an rsp of £14.99 in the UK) and a small quantity of 37.5cl formats.

Like other en ramas, the label on the 2013 bottling is based on original art work discovered in the archives of the brand owner González Byass.

Flores finished the tasting by declaring his love of Sherry. “It is one of the great wines of the world – a wine which cures your soul and brightens up your heart.”

He also said that he was pleased to see a renaissance in Sherry appreciation in the UK and welcomed therelease of en rama style bottlings from other producers.

“We are very happy that others have seen the success and beauty of this product [En Rama] and we are proud that González Byass is the pioneer,” he said.

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